As Aucklanders wake to a cloudy Saturday morning, a subtropical low is looming and the city has been warned to “prepare for the worst” before it hits tomorrow.
Auckland Emergency Management general manager Paul Amaral yesterday urged Aucklanders to “keep an eye on forecasts” and prepare as bad weather is predicted to strike the upper North Island tomorrow morning.
“If you live in an area prone to flooding or isolation, make sure you’ve got a plan to secure your property, shelter in place if you need to or know what you might need to do if evacuation is required,” he said.
There is a heavy rain watch in place for Auckland from early Sunday morning until early evening and a strong wind watch until Monday afternoon.
Severe Weather Watches for the wind and rain wrapping around the low from the north have been updated. There’s good agereement between models on the low centre, less so with the rain sweeping over NZ, so keep up to date during the weekend by checking https://t.co/NQBonD5787 pic.twitter.com/2EGzgjBmJC
— MetService (@MetService) April 28, 2023
— NIWA Weather (@NiwaWeather) April 28, 2023
The rain is forecast to start falling on Saturday evening across Northland before the system moves to Auckland, the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty on Sunday.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said wind gusts are forecast to frequently approach or exceed 70 km/h this weekend, especially in eastern areas from the Coromandel to Northland, making wind damage and power outages very possible.
“We’re expecting high winds and rain for some areas of Auckland, so remember, in a storm, consider your travel plans carefully, never drive through floodwaters and phone 111 if your life is in danger.
“We are expecting areas on Auckland’s east coast, including Whangaparāoa and Aotea Great Barrier, to be hit with the most intense rainfall and wind.
“Charge your phones, ensure you have a torch ready and check your emergency plan,” said Amaral.
Auckland is forecast to get eight days of wet weather from tomorrow, with heavy downpours and gales forecast for the first few days.
Yesterday, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown requested a top-level briefing from key emergency management staff ahead of the tropically-fuelled storm.
“The mayor has requested a briefing from emergency management staff. At this stage, we have no further information,” said a spokesperson.
Brown, who apologised for “dropping the ball” with regard to his public communication the night of the Auckland flooding on January 27, said Aucklanders should be mindful and take care as the situation is being monitored closely.
MetService forecaster Jessie Owen said the sub-tropical low-pressure system packed with strong winds and rain was bearing down on New Zealand, dragging a lot of warm, wet air with it.
Owen said next week the low would keep tracking south, dragging the rain across most of the country, unleashing the worst weather on northern and western regions.
“After that, [the] low moves to the south [and] we’re into a general wet disturbed northerly flow.
“We’re looking at several bands of rain coming in from the north. It’s all looking a bit messy and not particularly well-defined, but wet.”
Auckland, Northland, the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty were expected to fare the worst.
“We don’t have any warnings out just yet, but we probably will within the next day or so,” she said.
Auckland Emergency Management has formulated a list of what to do as these wet, windy conditions approach.
Preparing for bad weather:
- Check your drains and gutters to ensure they aren’t blocked. These can cause flooding issues during heavy rain.
- Secure outdoor furniture and items in your backyard.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
- Take extreme care if you are driving in heavy rain, and delay trips if possible. Do not drive through floodwaters.
- If life or property is at risk, phone 111.
- Looking out for neighbours, friends and family will also be important, especially if you live, work or travel in an area that is prone to flooding, slips or power outages.
- Fallen trees, blocked drains or debris on public property can be reported to Auckland Council using its online ‘Report a Problem’ tool.
- If your property is damaged, take photographs for your insurer as early as possible.
If out and about in a storm:
- Always drive to the weather conditions and never drive through floodwaters.
- If you get stuck in a flood, get out of your car and move to higher ground immediately, taking great care in the floodwaters.
- Never play in or walk through floodwaters unnecessarily. You may encounter unseen objects, dangerous debris or holes.
- If driving at night, drive slowly, especially through flood-prone areas as you may encounter flooding at short notice.
- Never attempt to drive over slips and treat power lines as live at all times.
- Check on neighbours and family, especially if they are in at-risk areas or might be affected by flooding or slips.
Pets and livestock:
- If you live on a rural property, think about your livestock rotation, especially if areas of your farms are flood-prone.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.
- If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a secure and sheltered place either inside or outside your home.
- If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground. Make sure your stock have access to clean feed and water in their new contained space until they can be returned to their paddocks.
- If you need more detailed guidance, check the animals affected by emergencies factsheets on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
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